Monthly Archives: July 2010

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Dr. Science likes raisin bread. I don’t like raisins, so raisin bread is safe from me. Awhile ago I tried the Rum-Raisin Bread recipe from King Arthur Flour, and it was good, but I wondered about soaking the raisins. I think the main reason for soaking them is to get the rum (flavor) in them. Dr. Science claimed the bread didn’t taste especially rummy, so for the next batch I just tossed the raisins in with the rest of the ingredients, and that worked fine. Today I did that but with half dark raisins and half golden raisins.

The other thing I do differently is bake the bread in a loaf pan in the oven. I do this for two reasons: I don’t trust the bread machine to bake the loaf properly, and Dr. Science thinks raisin bread should have a cinnamon swirl in it. So I toss everything in the machine and let that mix, knead, and proof the dough. Then I dump the dough onto a floured surface, pat it out,

Raisin bread dough patted into a rectangle

Raisin bread dough patted into a rectangle

and sprinkle cinnamon over it. I don’t use a specific amount; I just try to coat the dough:

Raisin bread dough coated with cinnamon

Raisin bread dough coated with cinnamon

Then I roll the dough like a jelly roll and pop it into the loaf pan with the seam on the bottom. I don’t know if that’s the best place for the seam, but it works so far. Here’s the loaf:

A loaf of rum-raisin bread

A loaf of rum-raisin bread


And here’s the crumb view:
Rum-raisin bread with a cinnamon swirl

Rum-raisin bread with a cinnamon swirl

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Seeded Multigrain Sourdough

Just for fun, I thought I’d try this Seeded Multigrain Sourdough recipe from Wild Yeast. Well, not entirely for fun, because we tore through that whole wheat loaf and now we need bread. Anyway, I fed the starter this morning, and this afternoon it was ready to go, so I put the dough together around lunchtime, which means I’ve been babysitting this bread for about 9 hours. For the 100 g of seeds I rummaged through my add-ins and pulled out amaranth, flax, poppy, quinoa, and sesame

Normally I would’ve just made one big round loaf. Susan says this should come out to 1 kg of dough (I got 1012 g, close enough) and she wants you to make two loaves, so I figured, why not? Obviously each loaf weighs 506 g (before baking), which means they’re on the small side.

A kilo of seeded multigrain sourdough ready for the oven

A kilo of seeded multigrain sourdough ready for the oven


I’m also not entirely sure they’re done. I didn’t use steam, and I took their temperature (and got 205℉, which is right), but they’re not very brown. Yes, I remembered to add the salt. We’ll see how they taste in the morning.

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Santa Rosa Plum Tart

I saw these very pretty little plums at the farmers market, and I just had to have them:

Purple plums and yellow plums

Purple plums and yellow plums

I knew I’d make a plum tart with them, but I didn’t have a recipe in mind, so I searched the Internet. I probably should’ve looked in Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Next time. Anyway, when I hit this recipe on The Italian Dish, I decided that was my plum tart. The Somerville Public Library, which is right down the street, had Chez Panisse Fruit in the stacks, so I strolled down and checked it out. You have to look at the photo on the Italian Dish blog because there are no photos in the Chez Panisse book. You also have to look at Elaine’s photos because my tart doesn’t look like hers, and I suspect hers looks right.

Santa Rosa Plum Tart with invisible plums

Santa Rosa Plum Tart with invisible plums

One big difference is that my plums are small, and I think I probably cut the slices too small, too. For plums like these, which are the size of golf balls, maybe they should be cut into quarters; then the fruit would’ve stuck up through the custard. Once the tart is cut, though, you can see them.

Look! Plums!

Look! Plums!

It’s quite tasty. The custard is sweet and the plums are sweet and tart, and the textures are complementary.

A serving of plum tart

A serving of plum tart

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Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

The sourdough starter sat in the fridge for awhile, neglected, but yesterday I woke it up and fed it, and this morning I fed it again. Then this afternoon I got a loaf of sourdough bread going. It had to be whole wheat because I’m out of all-purpose flour, and bread flour isn’t always the best thing for sourdough bread because the dough can get a little too stiff for the wild yeast to lift. I looked on the Internet for a recipe and found this one for 100 Percent Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread.

Mine isn’t 100% whole wheat because I feed my starter with white flour. I should start converting some starter to whole wheat; I certainly have plenty. Anyway, she gives the ingredients in weights, which I use, and she lets you use gluten flour, which makes me feel better, although I might not have needed it with the white starter. This loaf, made with the white starter, is about 60% whole wheat, which shouldn’t provide enough bran to damage the gluten strands and keep the bread from rising. When I’ve converted some starter, I’m pretty sure I’ll need that gluten, and it’ll be interesting to compare the results. This is a very basic loaf with nothing fancy added in like wheat germ or seeds.

Naturally it took a good long time for the first rise, about 3 hours all together. I folded it twice, at 1-hour intervals. Then I formed the loaf into a kind of bâtard and let it rise for another hour, slashed the top, and baked it at 350℉ for about 40 minutes.

Whole wheat sourdough bread

Whole wheat sourdough bread

Obviously it spread quite a bit as it rose and then again as it baked. You can just see where the slash was. The crumb looks pretty good, too:

Whole wheat sourdough: crumb view

Whole wheat sourdough: crumb view

I haven’t tasted it yet, but Dr. Science says it’s good.

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Gooseberry Crumble

I’d never heard of gooseberry crumble until my friend Michele mentioned it. I didn’t actually know what gooseberries were, either. But because I’d seen Michele’s photos, I knew what I was looking at when I saw them at the Copley Square farmers market. I got two boxes, which were 8 oz each:

A pound of gooseberries

A pound of gooseberries

Michele has been talking about gooseberry crumble, but you can make other things, such as pie. Unfortunately, 1 lb of gooseberries isn’t enough for pie. I looked for a recipe for crumble, but a lot of them called for things I don’t have, like self-raising flour (why do the English love that?), elderflower cordial, and 2 lbs of gooseberries. I chose this one because it uses plain flour, gives amounts by weight, and calls for 1 lb of gooseberries. It doesn’t say how large the baking dish should be, so I used a 9″ x 9″ glass one. The berries fit into that comfortably in one layer:

A pound of gooseberries in a 9" x 9" baking dish

A pound of gooseberries in a 9" x 9" baking dish

The topping went on top of that:

Gooseberries covered with crumble

Gooseberries covered with crumble

And the whole thing baked for 35 minutes, the result of which was:

Gooseberry crumble

Gooseberry crumble

Two small servings, upside down and right side up

Two small servings, upside down and right side up

This is pretty tasty. I think the crumble-to-fruit ratio isn’t right, though. There’s a lot of crumble for this amount of fruit. I think this much crumble needs twice as much fruit; alternatively, I’d use the pound of fruit, put that in a smaller dish so it made two layers, and top it with half the amount of crumble.

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